“Thanksgiving is a joyous invitation to shower the world with love and gratitude.” -Amy Leigh Mercree
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away (wha?!!). Do you already have your menu planned? I know most families tend to stick with the tried and true favorites year in and year out. I'm always up for trying a new side or two, and would rather have brownies than a piece of pie, but that's just me. If you are like me about trying new sides (I mean how much green bean casserole can one consume in a lifetime?) then this just may be the recipe for you. I mean , how bad could it be? It has bacon! If not for Thanksgiving, try it another time. It would be a great side alongside roasted chicken or pork. You can even make it ahead and reheat it gently at dinner time, if you can't afford to sacrifice any more oven space. Many markets sell the squash already peeled and cubed this time of year if you need to save some work.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon
2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1 " dice (about 6 cups)
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
4 slices good quality, meaty, apple-wood smoked bacon, cut lengthwise in half and then diced (1/4")
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt. approx
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, approx.
fresh thyme sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two 12 x 18" baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In large bowl, place all ingredients, except salt and pepper. With clean hands, toss to combine well, breaking up any clumps of bacon as you go.
3. Spread squash mixture evenly over the two prepared sheet pans. Though it would all fit on one, you want the veggies to roast, not steam, so more space is better. Sprinkle each pan evenly with salt and pepper. Scatter thyme sprigs over top of each pan (5 or 6 sprigs per pan).
4. Place pans into hot oven. Roast veggies until slightly caramelized and bacon is cooked, about 25-35 minutes, rotating pans half-way though cooking from top to bottom.
5. Remove pan from oven and discard any thyme stems. Transfer hot veggies to a serving dish and top with a few fresh thyme leaves for garnish. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.
Got leftovers? Spoon leftovers into your favorite burrito-sized flour tortilla along with some cooked rice and shredded Colby-Jack cheese for a fun veggie-centric burrito. Heat gently in microwave or oven to heat through and melt cheese. Happy Thanksgiving feast!